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I always felt like USUM would be better off as a DLC for Pokemon Sun and Moon, because for ridiculous amounts of money you're basically playing through the same game all over again. It had the same basic structure and skeleton as the previous games, so it was really hard to get through. Don't get me wrong though, I loved some of the new features. I just wish the game had a more unique story and gameplay compared to its predescesors. Thoughts?

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Sooooo.... here's the thing. A lot of people agree with you. The problem here is that this isn't something that we haven't been exposed to before. If you're going into USUM expecting B2W2, of course you're in for quite the disappointment because it's going to end up being more like Platinum than anything else.

And to be honest? I don't really blame anyone for thinking this would play out to be a sequel, thanks in no part to TPCi's marketing. I think it was this trailer in particular that got people thinking that it would be a different game altogether, but that's just the power of good marketing to you. =P

I think the "third game" formula is starting to wear off a bit on people. It worked for Emerald and Platinum because in that era, DLC wasn't super rampant (to my knowledge), but in the current era where it's pretty much everywhere, Game Freak is going to have to tackle the question of whether or not it's worth pursuing on the Switch. People aren't going to pay $60 for 90% of the same material, after all.

Anyway, USUM being super same-y... honestly isn't the fault of the games themselves. They could've been a lot better, sure. But it's a third game, and there was no real indication that this was going to be a sequel anyway (merely people falling for marketing hype), so really the fans got their expectations too high and as a result, USUM got the mixed reactions that it did.

The lesson here is to have more realistic expectations for the product that you're getting. Game Freak certainly shares some blame due to relying on the antiquated third game model when making USUM more into a sequel would've been deserved, but it is what it is.

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I do agree with you that Ultra sun and Moon was overhyped. While people might defend it by saying that it got the "Platinum treatment", I'd beg to differ because it honestly seemed like a sequel, mainly because there were 2 versions released and as a result that would have misguided several into thinking it would get the BW2 treatment. I think people wouldn't have cared much if USUM was released as a single game with Necrozma on the cover art.
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I do agree with you that Ultra sun and Moon was overhyped. While people might defend it by saying that it got the "Platinum treatment", I'd beg to differ because it honestly seemed like a sequel, mainly because there were 2 versions released and as a result that would have misguided several into thinking it would get the BW2 treatment. I think people wouldn't have cared much if USUM was released as a single game with Necrozma on the cover art.
USUM being a single game would've defeated the purpose of SM's 12-hour time gimmick for people who still cared about that. Not to mention the Pokemon exclusivity, though that's a lesser important thing.

Two versions being released isn't strictly indicative of anything being a sequel anyway and this is a lesson best kept in mind going forward; Game Freak is not as predictable as we seem to think sometimes /shrug

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Yeah, they were. After Black 2 and White 2 you'd expect Game Freak to do even better with Alola.

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Rivvon

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I can't agree that USUM had good marketing, but rather bad marketing--not because the trailers were bad for the sale of the product but because they didn't properly portray the games for the sake of the customer. USUM advertising came across like TPC(i) knew people didn't want third versions any more so they tried to make them believe USUM weren't exactly that. I don't really want to use words such as "deceitful," but there was definitely a lack of transparency that seemed very intentional. That got peoples' hopes up, so I can't blame them for having certain expectations that ended up being shattered--and I'm saying this as someone who knew from the start that these were just third versions split in two. As such, USUM were completely overhyped during the prerelease period but ended up deflating faster than a popped balloon once there were no questions as to what it was. I absolutely agree that having the same structure as the already weak SM games made USUM a slog even with its minuscule improvements, and I can only hope that Game Freak takes this as a learning experience moving forward and we don't see a need for third versions in the future. I can't express just how disappointing it was for XY, that really needed a glow-up, to get dropped without a second thought but the "Everything comes together! 20th anniversary titles!!" were deemed weak enough so they could sell the weakest third versions we've gotten to date off of it. Just because third versions already existed before this point doesn't justify the myriad of poor decisions made with the gen 7 games and their distribution.

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I can't agree that USUM had good marketing, but rather bad marketing--not because the trailers were bad for the sale of the product but because they didn't properly portray the games for the sake of the customer.
"TPC(i) weren't completely transparent about USUM being third games when they made their overhyped trailer!"

I mean... they're a marketing company. That's their job. It's also our failure as fans for getting our hopes up for the next B2W2 since that's what people so badly wanted. While I do agree that there was an element of vagueness in the trailer (especially with the line "This isn't the Alola you once knew" etc), it could be construed as just hyping the game up and we fans took that same message and ran miles with it expecting it to be super different.

This is a lesson for the fans as much as it is TPCi and Game Freak.

Rivvon

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"TPC(i) weren't completely transparent about USUM being third games when they made their overhyped trailer!"

I mean... they're a marketing company. That's their job. It's also our failure as fans for getting our hopes up for the next B2W2 since that's what people so badly wanted. While I do agree that there was an element of vagueness in the trailer (especially with the line "This isn't the Alola you once knew" etc), it could be construed as just hyping the game up and we fans took that same message and ran miles with it expecting it to be super different.

This is a lesson for the fans as much as it is TPCi and Game Freak.
I'm not a big fan of taking a Machiavellian approach to defending Big Business. Yes, their goal is to make money, but customers deserve to be treated with respect and honesty, among other things, as well. If fans really wanted sequels and a departure from third versions that badly, is it wrong for them to not be pleased when they are given the opposite of what they want?

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I'm not a big fan of taking a Machiavellian approach to defending Big Business. Yes, their goal is to make money, but customers deserve to be treated with respect and honesty, among other things, as well. If fans really wanted sequels and a departure from third versions that badly, is it wrong for them to not be pleased when they are given the opposite of what they want?
Don't misunderstand: I don't agree with the marketing approach either, but there was no real evidence in any of the trailers or what was even shown in the trailers that we were going to get something different beyond that one memorable line in particular (as far as I know, anyway).

But, and I apologise for the bluntness, if you're expecting a marketing company to not inflate the value of their product, then that in itself is naive thinking.

Rivvon

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Don't misunderstand: I don't agree with the marketing approach either, but there was no real evidence in any of the trailers or what was even shown in the trailers that we were going to get something different beyond that one memorable line in particular (as far as I know, anyway).

But, and I apologise for the bluntness, if you're expecting a marketing company to not inflate the value of their product, then that in itself is naive thinking.
People are people at the end of the day. If they feel their money is better spent elsewhere, either because the product doesn't meet their satisfaction, or because they feel they have been wronged in some way, they will not buy. By all means, a company will hype up their product, but if they lose touch with customer transparency, they stand to lose their trust, which can be more damaging to them in the long-term. There are far less underhanded ways to generate hype for a product and goodwill towards customers.

At the end of the day, had USUM been more clearly marketed as a third version, peoples' expectations would have been at more appropriate levels and as such there would have been less chance for a crash in disappointment. But there was a major crash due to overhype, and that will stain peoples' perception of the games for quite a while, which is already a big strike against it. But the memories of its poorly-handled prerelease period will also creep up for any future "is it a sequel or a third version" game which may have its own set of repercussions, including, but not limited to, people not giving them a chance due to being burned before.

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People are people at the end of the day. If they feel their money is better spent elsewhere, either because the product doesn't meet their satisfaction, or because they feel they have been wronged in some way, they will not buy. By all means, a company will hype up their product, but if they lose touch with customer transparency, they stand to lose their trust, which can be more damaging to them in the long-term. There are far less underhanded ways to generate hype for a product and goodwill towards customers.

At the end of the day, had USUM been more clearly marketed as a third version, peoples' expectations would have been at more appropriate levels and as such there would have been less chance for a crash in disappointment. But there was a major crash due to overhype, and that will stain peoples' perception of the games for quite a while, which is already a big strike against it. But the memories of its poorly-handled prerelease period will also creep up for any future "is it a sequel or a third version" game which may have its own set of repercussions, including, but not limited to, people not giving them a chance due to being burned before.
There's a difference between overhyping a product and being completely misleading to the point of making false claims.

The trailer weren't misleading. It wasn't false advertising or anything any owner of TPC(i) could get sued over. If you get a product based on an advertisement that was over hyped but yet it didn't match your expectations, were you really mislead in the first place, despite being told just about everything you were getting? You mention that they were leaning on deceitful without using that very word, but what was particularly deceitful about the trailers that we've been shown?

It's a genuine question. Go through the entire TPC playlist of USUM and find me one thing that was an outright false claim or otherwise misleading. If a company overhypes a product, that just means that they exaggerate how good it is and you may not have that same experience going in; anyone who has a rudimentary knowledge of how sales works knows that there's a fine line between painting a product to be better than what it really is and outright being deceitful and saying things that the product just flatout won't provide at all (the latter obviously being a legal no-no). All the trailers to my knowledge showed us exactly what we were going to get. If you get the product anyway despite all of that and end up disappointed in it, is it really the marketing company's fault?

Therefore, I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "had USUM been more clearly marketed as a third version". If what you mean is omitting the "This isn't the Alola you once knew" line then sure, but the ambiguity in that statement doesn't automatically somehow mean that it'll be a sequel, it's just some vague statement that fans interpreted to mean a sequel and they ran with it with no other evidence to support the such other than the fact that hey, B2W2 were released in pairs so maybe these games will be similar in scope, too. Or maybe that it's been a long time since B2W2 so many Game Freak will go back to doing sequels. There was no real evidence to the pair being sequels at all, it was all fan speculation to begin with.

Let's take this B2W2 trailer, for example. It was clearly stated that this takes place two years into the future with new characters, new experiences, new areas and everything. That was clearly marketed as a sequel. Compared to USUM, there was no such claims being made beyond one single ambiguous sentence that for all we know could've meant "there's more to Alola than what you've explore before".

All in all, the finger-pointing on who to blame for consumer disappointment is as such: If the marketing company makes outrageous claims that the product flat-out cannot deliver or otherwise makes hugely misleading claims, then that's a huge legal misstep. If a marketing company does its job and just hypes the product for sales reasons but otherwise tells you exactly what the product is made for and you're not happy with the execution of the product, your deal then is with the manufacturer, not marketing. But if you expect a product to metaphorically give you an experience that neither marketing or developers would claim that it would give you, then that ultimately is your fault.

Fancy intense background music with screenshots and video recordings of the games isn't deceitful, because we ended up getting exactly what we were shown. Everyone is going to have a different experience with the execution however, and that in itself doesn't mean the marketing is at fault. If there is something objectively wrong with the execution of a product, that is one matter that can be claimed as deceitfulness. But it's erroneous to use that word in its application to its marketing when you just weren't happy with the end product and how it didn't align with your expectations of what it could be. Therefore, your beef with the developer (Game Freak), not the marketing.

Sydian

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honestly usum was totally overhyped and i remember not getting on the hype train and when i played it i was glad i didn't. but even not getting on the hype train, like. i was really soured by these games. i took a break midway into the game...then i came back later to finish and honestly? she did not deserve all of my salt lol. like yeah there are some major flaws and things i disagree with (changing lusamine's character arc to make her redeemable? miss me w that!) but when i actually just sat tf down and played the game, it was a good time. i think we get too caught up in things sometimes and forget to enjoy it. i think a lot of people went into usum ready to DISSECT IT and call it out for muk bc it WAS so overhyped and i mean gamefreak didn't do much to help.

but you know tl;dr it's not as bad as everyone claims but i do think gamefreak hyped us up for something we ultimately did not get. still a good game tho. i like her.
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Rivvon

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You admit B2W2 were more clearly advertised as what they were. In the end, more clarity would have allowed fans to set more realistic expectations and therefore not feel as negatively towards USUM when they released, which would only be good for the games. I know you specifically love to use the logic of "don't get your hopes too high," as it's better to have low expectations and be pleasantly surprised, but that doesn't hold when a product is officially overhyped and you defend it. Will businesses want to play-up their products? Of course. Does that make the situation any better? No, because it was overhyped and not clear, the crash from what it actually was ended up greater.

And please don't make assumptions on what I thought USUM would or wouldn't be. I felt it was clear that they were third versions because of the lack of the word "sequel" being touted as it had been for B2W2, and I overall wasn't pleased with SM and knew I wouldn't be pleased with any Alola re-bout, be it a sequel, third version, or anything else. But the truth of the matter is many fans were confused by what USUM was setting out to be (I remember trying to explain my logic and getting shot down each and every time by Sequel-Hopefuls), and that kind of weakness in marketing does sour game perception even once it's released, and it's something that can easily be avoided in the future. Consumers need to hold businesses and marketing more accountable than just passively thinking "fans should use this as a learning experience to just accept whatever they're given."

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You admit B2W2 were more clearly advertised as what they were. In the end, more clarity would have allowed fans to set more realistic expectations and therefore not feel as negatively towards USUM when they released, which would only be good for the games. I know you specifically love to use the logic of "don't get your hopes too high," as it's better to have low expectations and be pleasantly surprised, but that doesn't hold when a product is officially overhyped and you defend it. Will businesses want to play-up their products? Of course. Does that make the situation any better? No, because it was overhyped and not clear, the crash from what it actually was ended up greater.
The reason that I brought up B2W2 in contrast to the USUM trailer is that, yes, B2W2 was indeed very clear about what it was supposed to be. My bigger point was that if USUM was intended to be a sequel, it would've been clear as such. My other point was that it was moreso fans that wanted it to be more like B2W2 than a third game, therefore the fault is honestly partially on the expectations of the fans.

I do want to be very clear: as I stated already, I don't 100% agree with TPCi's ambiguity here. As I brought up, that one weird vague line certainly caused a lot of confusion, but aside from that, nothing else in the trailer or any other trailer was indicative that it was going to be a sequel.

Also...

but that doesn't hold when a product is officially overhyped and you defend it. Will businesses want to play-up their products? Of course. Does that make the situation any better? No, because it was overhyped and not clear, the crash from what it actually was ended up greater.
Do not misunderstand my stance here. TPCi isn't completely blameless, but neither are the fans. I've noticed in none of your arguments so far that you absolved the fans of having too high of expectations in the first place. Again, as I mentioned:

But if you expect a product to metaphorically give you an experience that neither marketing or developers would claim that it would give you, then that ultimately is your fault.
Food for thought.

And please don't make assumptions on what I thought USUM would or wouldn't be.
Where did I make an assumption? I've taken a direct quote from what you've said and responded to it, as such here:

I don't really want to use words such as "deceitful," but there was definitely a lack of transparency that seemed very intentional.
I was responding mainly to this point. If I'm understanding correctly from this very statement, you feel that TPCi was in some levels dishonest. I've asked you to point out the dishonesty here, which you have yet to do. A company being dishonest is a pretty big deal, so I'd avoid stuff like that, personally.

I felt it was clear that they were third versions because of the lack of the word "sequel" being touted as it had been for B2W2, and I overall wasn't pleased with SM and knew I wouldn't be pleased with any Alola re-bout, be it a sequel, third version, or anything else.
I mean, you make that pretty clear when you put Gen 5 on a pedestal and slam Gen 7 in just about most posts you've made recently, despite ignoring/not acknowledging/not being aware of the fact that Gen 5 is the grandfather of a lot of the issues that occurred in Gen 7 (namely focus on too little characters/"family drama" under a guise/bland main villain syndrome), but ok. You're free to have your opinion, I suppose, that's what makes the Pokemon franchise flavourful.

But the truth of the matter is many fans were confused by what USUM was setting out to be (I remember trying to explain my logic and getting shot down each and every time by Sequel-Hopefuls), and that kind of weakness in marketing does sour game perception even once it's released, and it's something that can easily be avoided in the future. Consumers need to hold businesses and marketing more accountable than just passively thinking "fans should use this as a learning experience to just accept whatever they're given."

Many fans got their hopes up of what they wanted USUM to be. Because it has been so many years since B2W2, a lot of people wanted something different. I suppose this wasn't helped by the fact that SM actually left on a cliffhanger of sorts (with Lillie leaving to Kanto), and so many people wanted USUM to pretty much start off right where SM left off. Unfortunately, that's not what happened, and thus I can see where the disappointment lies. The thing is though that's the fault of Game Freak for not taking advantage of the kind of potential that USUM would have as sequels. They intentionally left SM as a cliffhanger of sorts never to be resolved, to get fans' hopes up only for a weird rehash with USUM. This is mostly the fault of Game Freak's development here, rather than the marketing.

At the end of the day, everyone shares the blame here. TPCi for that ambiguous line getting people's hopes up, Game Freak for leaving SM on a cliffhanger note, and the fans themselves for wanting another B2W2 when there was little evidence aside from the cliffhanger that we were going to get anything similar.

Rivvon

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The reason that I brought up B2W2 in contrast to the USUM trailer is that, yes, B2W2 was indeed very clear about what it was supposed to be. My bigger point was that if USUM was intended to be a sequel, it would've been clear as such. My other point was that it was moreso fans that wanted it to be more like B2W2 than a third game, therefore the fault is honestly partially on the expectations of the fans.

Do not misunderstand my stance here. TPCi isn't completely blameless, but neither are the fans. I've noticed in none of your arguments so far that you haven't really absolved the fans of having too high of expectations in the first place.
I don't want to place too much fault on the fans when they have a right to expect... "better." I mean, in general people wanted away from third versions for a while to the point where even though XY really, and I mean really, needed a better "re-do," people were happy to not have a third version because that's just how tired they are of the concept. When SM were supposed to be the big shebang, the "it-all-comes-together" 20th anniversary titles, can I really fault fans for expecting more out of the third versions that came from it? In theory they really shouldn't have warranted third versions to begin with because of that status. You say it yourself, Game Freak set up the narrative of SM in a way that made third versions redundant, so why blame fans for thinking they would finally break away from the formula that they are so tired of and did do away with in gen 6? Is there really a good excuse for the "one step forward, two steps back" mentality these days?

The reason for me saying I don't want to use the word "deceitful" is because while there certainly lacked transparency, I do not believe they had bad intentions. But some fans may indeed associate lack of transparency for a kind of deceitfulness, which is a shame because in the end it may only hurt them further for future game releases, which is not what I want to see. That's why I point out that the entire situation could have been handled better, because I want the best for the series.

I mean, you make that pretty clear when you put Gen 5 on a pedestal and slam Gen 7 in just about most posts you've made recently, despite ignoring/not acknowledging/not being aware of the fact that Gen 5 is the grandfather of a lot of the issues that occurred in Gen 7 (namely focus on too little characters/"family drama" under a guise/bland main villain syndrome), but ok. You're free to have your opinion, I suppose, that's what makes the Pokemon franchise flavourful.
This is very silly, I cannot understand why you bring this up. What does this have to do with the topic at hand? If you genuinely want to discuss these topics, you can go back to where you found these points and reply to me there, and I'm sure we can have an in-depth discussion on them where it is appropriate.

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I don't want to place too much fault on the fans when they have a right to expect... "better." I mean, in general people wanted away from third versions for a while to the point where even though XY really, and I mean really, needed a better "re-do," people were happy to not have a third version because that's just how tired they are of the concept. When SM were supposed to be the big shebang, the "it-all-comes-together" 20th anniversary titles, can I really fault fans for expecting more out of the third versions that came from it? In theory they really shouldn't have warranted third versions to begin with because of that status. You say it yourself, Game Freak set up the narrative of SM in a way that made third versions redundant, so why blame fans for thinking they would finally break away from the formula that they are so tired of and did do away with in gen 6? Is there really a good excuse for the "one step forward, two steps back" mentality these days?
Nowhere did I say they can't expect better, necessarily. Fans always have a right to expect better from the developers. Again, my point was that fans were attributing a sequel status with very little evidence towards something that was never really evidently shown to be a sequel in any way, shape, or form. You can expect better quality in a third game, Emerald and Platinum being two noteworthy third games, and if anything, there were some that were even hoping that USUM would follow Platinum's shoes (if it came to that) and introduce an expansive battle area of sorts. You can expect better in terms of overall quality regardless if it's a third game or a sequel, but the thing of it is that where I'm getting at is that there was very little evidence of any sort of continuation of plot/a time-skip of sorts (which is why I referred to the B2W2 trailer) otherwise it would've been made a lot more obvious in the USUM trailers, don't you think?

The reason for me saying I don't want to use the word "deceitful" is because while there certainly lacked transparency, I do not believe they had bad intentions. But some fans may indeed associate lack of transparency for a kind of deceitfulness, which is a shame because in the end it may only hurt them further for future game releases, which is not what I want to see. That's why I point out that the entire situation could have been handled better, because I want the best for the series.
In a way, I can see where you're getting at, here. At the same time, being the 20th anniversary titles, I've long come to resigned acceptance that TPCi will overhype USUM as the partner 20th anniversary game to SM. This is a lesson to Game Freak more than anything else to handle third games better in the future (if they do them at all). In this, that much I agree with you on. But this doesn't have a whole lot to do with marketing as much as it has to do with Game Freak's handling of third games as a whole and being awfully inconsistent whether a series would get a third game or a sequel.

This is very silly, I cannot understand why you bring this up. What does this have to do with the topic at hand? If you genuinely want to discuss these topics, you can go back to where you found these points and reply to me there, and I'm sure we can have an in-depth discussion on them where it is appropriate.
Why did you bring up the fact that you weren't pleased with these games or any iteration of these games when that in itself doesn't have a whole lot to do with the topic at hand, either? :P

Rivvon

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I brought it up because your responses were making it sound like you believed I personally had gotten my hopes up by the prerelease marketing, when in reality there was likely nothing they could do to get me as hyped as the people around me. But that doesn't mean I can't sympathize with them and see where they were coming from, believing what they did. In the end we seem to be in agreement that the main issue lies in the handling of giving SM a third version at all, but I still stand by the idea that a more clear marketing approach would have kept fan expectations tempered, which would have led to a more smooth fan reception upon release. As it stands, the only reason why USUM were "overhyped" was because the general disappointment that followed the prerelease period acts as its comparison point.

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